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Monday, April 5, 2010

Smart As Last Year's X-Box

The woman who gave me birth will be here for a week or more, so my posts will be sporadic. But not to worry. Marian Perera is coming over to help me out this Wednesday. Be sure to visit. We're going to discuss magic and machines. Steampunk fans, I want you to come on out of the woodworks.

Appearances are deceiving.

My mother calls me the smart one in the family. (Yeah, I laugh too.) But she calls me smart only because when I was a kid--and even now--I ask a LOT of questions.

I do remember some of my outrageous questions. While my brothers and sisters were content to accept whatever our elders told us, I questioned everything. Got me thrown out of class once too.

Note to self:
Never debate the physical impossibility of a virgin birth with nuns.

My insatiable curiosity tends to keep me in trouble. Even Greg gets annoyed because I won't do things unless I understand the why, as well as the how. For a man who's used to ordering people about, it grates on his nerves.

I can't help it. I have to understand these things before I'll do them.
It's intrinsic to the way I learn.

I should tell you that I am in fact a complete idiot--especially when it comes to technical things like software, or hardware, or building things, or cooking, or gardening, or math, or...well, you get the picture. I have no natural talent other than a good sense of aesthetic value.

Some people are surprised at this admission because over the years, I've become expert in quite a few fields, but the simple truth is that it comes at a huge cost. I'm not complaining. That's just the way it is for me. I'm used to it.

Learning is ferociously difficult for me. I'm not dyslexic in the least, but I am definitely wired differently and it takes me twice as long as everybody else to learn a task. On the flip side, once I master something, I am really good at it. You'd think I'd been doing it all my life. Go figure.

I wonder sometimes if it has to do with being forced to be right-handed.
When I learn something it feels like I'm learning it twice, with the right side of my brain and then my left. Any lefties out there care to weigh in on that? Have you noticed anything similar?

My dear, sweet neighbor nearly had a frustration-induced coronary trying to teach me to crochet, until she realized I kept doing it backwards. So she taught me to do it left-handed and I picked it up right away. Huzzah!

Greg figured this out when he taught me to shoot. I kept closing the wrong eye. LOL.

I don't give up. I just keep ramming my head against that elephant until one of us collapses.

Now you know why I have to be nice to the people I deal with daily. They really put up with a lot. I am not an easy person to live with--although apparently, I am hugely entertaining.


Is it easy for you to learn new things? What would you say you do the very best?


Dru said...

I think it's easy for me to learn new things, but not quickly. I do like to know the how's and why's of a project, only because it will be fun to get to that finished project.

If I had to pick something that I'm good at it would be quilting.

Have a good Monday and enjoy your visit with your mother.

Joanne said...

Hm, I'd say I grow the very best Jet Star tomatoes ... Can't wait for May to begin planting!

Enjoy your visit with your Mom :)

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

That's interesting about the crocheting. I'm left-handed, and my mom couldn't figure out how to teach more than a few basics. When I got older, I taught myself how to crochet right-handed from books. It wasn't that hard, and it's easier to follow patterns this way.

It's hard for me to pick something that I'm especially good at. I'm the best in my company at enzyme assays, but there's only one other person there who does them. ;)

Maria Zannini said...

Dru: Definitely quilting. You sell enough of them. :grin:

Maria Zannini said...

Joanne: Okay, now you've piqued my interest.

I hope you'll do a blog post on Jet Star tomatoes. I'd love to read how you do your garden.

Maria Zannini said...

Sandra: The little old lady that taught me was probably crocheting for sixty years, so I know she could do it one handed if she had to. LOL.

I've taught myself nearly all the art software from books, but it is much easier if there's someone there to teach me. I always have more questions than what the books can answer.

Ref:...but there's only one other person there who does them.

Bump him off, then you'll be the GREATEST! :grin:

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I don't learn math well, either. I like to think of people who do as "freaks," but that's just to make myself feel less dumb. ^_^

Maria Zannini said...

Yeah, freaks!

That does make me feel better. Thanks.

Marianne Arkins said...

REF: a leftie forced to be a rightie...

I have one sister who is so left-handed that, as a child (in school) she wouldn't eat at snack. The teacher became so concerned she called my mother who went to observe. When snack started, the teacher handed my sister the spoon IN HER RIGHT HAND and instead of changing hands so she could use it, she did nothing. My mom switched the spoon, and VOILA, sis ate like she was starving.

I have another sister (who was adopted out as an infant ... long story) who was forced to be a rightie. She does everything technical (like writing or swinging a bat) with her right hand, but is an artist and sculpts and paints with her left.

I'd be fascinated at reading a report on ramifications of this type of thing.

Happy visit with mom!

Maria Zannini said...

I prefer to paint with my left too. But I am an ambidextrous eater. LOL!

I'd heard once that forcing kids to use their non-dominant hand can create psychological problems down the road.

---now they tell me. :o)